ENGINUITY 2020/The story of the Early Years

PERIOD 5
PERIOD 6
PERIOD 7
PERIOD 8
PERIOD 9
PERIOD 10
PERIOD 11
PERIOD 12


PERIOD 5:  "'Compensation Nation' are the early pacesetters"

Another large international field of over 200 teams from around the world began the challenge of managing their Global Construction Business, a journey that would ultimately lead to one of them being crowned the Enginuity 2020, and 11th Enginuity Champions.

The ENGINUITY Competition is not designed to be an easy challenge, and is intended to reflect how difficult it can be to run a multinational construction business in the real world. To be successful will require an effective business strategy to identify new work, secure the work in a competitive bidding environment, and then manage jobs progressed profitably, dealing with the many problems that will arise, such as job delays and managing risk. There will be many ups and downs, and good leadership and management skills will be needed to deal with adversity, and keep the business growing.

And so to the early action, and incredibly over 92% of the teams were able to post positive growth figures in period 5, the highest recorded for many years in the first round, and perhaps indicating that this could be the most hardfought Enginuity Competition of recent years. And the top of the leaderboard already has a real international feel, with 6 different countries represented in the top 12. The early pacesetters are "Compensation Nation" (WSP NZ, New Zealand) with an impressive 1,369 pts, but they cannot rest on their laurels with "Mangineer" (Parsons, Qatar) only 3 points behind as they look to keep the title at Parsons. "SuperSTRESSED" (Jacobs, UK) are just 2 points further back, with "Stantastic Six" (Stantec, United States) already living up to their team name in 4th. Of the new companies involved this year it is a team from McNab, "The O.G. McNab" (McNab, Austalia), who have made the most promising start in 24th.

And a word of caution to the leading teams, and hope for the chasing pack. The top teams at the end of the first round often have high workloads after successful bidding, and this can then limit their ability to win a high volume of work in period 6, whilst those who did not perhaps start too well are in the reverse posiiton, and can improve their forward workload and margin significantly in the second round, providing, of course, they set competitive bids. It should be a very interesting leaderboard again in the next round!

And so to the first of this year's first ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Several sponsors have put in large contingents of teams this year, with Stantec amongst them with teams from around the globe, and they have been rewarded with some impressive starts from many of their teams, particularly from the "Stantastic Six" (Stantec, United States) in 4th and the "STEMinists" (Stantec, UK) in 5th. Stantec are perennial Enginuity finalists, but could 2020 be their year to become Champions ?

  • Just outside the top 12 are a team that put in a tremendous amount of effort during the trialling stage, and "TEAM-I-CON-KAL" (WS Atkins, India) have been rewarded with a strong early showing, and they will be hoping to keep up this high standard as the competition develops.

  • Jacobs teams from around the world have once more risen to the Enginuity challenge, and like Stantec are hoping this could be their year, and with 3 teams in the top 12, even at this early stage hopes are high, with "SuperSTRESSED" (Jacobs, UK) in 3rd currently their leading team.

  • Every year the Enginuity Crystal Ball tries to predict dark horses in the Competition, and this year "Omniginuity" (Balfour Beatty, UK) have been highlighted. They may only a 2-man team, but they have experience as their secret weapon, and their bosses in Canary Wharf will be keeping a close eye on their progress. They are currently in 21st, but only 11 points off the top 12.

  • Hatch are taking part for the 4th time, with another strongt contingent of teams so far from locations around the globe, and the "Hatchlings" (Hatch, Canada) currently lead their internal sponsor battle, but "Hatcha la vista" (Hatch, Canada) are not far behind.

Looking in more detail at the world economies, 2019 saw some dramatic economic and political changes in the UK. Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was rejected several times by Parliament, and the UK did not exit the European Union as originally planned at the end of March. Theresa May then resigned, and Boris Johnson became the new PM, and promised to secure Brexit by the end of October, but his minority government's new Brexit deal was also thwarted. However, a majority victory in the General Election on December 12 for the Conservative Party opened the door for the UK to finally leave the European Union at the end of January 2020.
UK economic growth remained modest at 1.4% in 2019, with a projected long-term rate of around 2% providing that there is an orderly exit from the European Union. Consumer spending has continued to drive the economy, but the housing market has cooled and job creation is likely to slow during 2020, and business investment has been on a declining trend as a result of ongoing Brexit-related uncertainty and this is expected to continue until this is resolved. For the UK construction market uncertain times lie ahead, and growth will be hard earned.

Further afield, and unlike the UK, the Global economy grew quicker during 2019, at 3%, with 3.4% expected in 2020, However, the steady pace of expansion in the global economy masks an increase in downside risks that could potentially exacerbate development challenges in many parts of the world, according to the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019.
The global economy is facing a confluence of risks, which could severely disrupt economic activity and inflict significant damage on longer-term development prospects. These risks include an escalation of trade disputes, an abrupt tightening of global financial conditions, and intensifying climate risks.

Individual League Table at the end of period 5

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 6:  "11 changes in the top 12 sees '[A]mazing [E]ngineers.COM' take control"

Just like the real world it simulates, Enginuity is designed to reflect the ups and downs of managing a global construction business, and this makes it hard to sustain steady growth, but if it can be achieved it is the key to success. Teams that won a lot of work in the previous period were expected to struggle to maintain their forward workload and margin KPIS, and would look to consolidate, whereas those that did not win much work in period 5 had the infrastructure to boost their future workload, and look to make a positive move up the leadeboard. The net result in period 6 was expected to be lots of movement in the league table, and so it proved, with incredibly 11 new entries into the top 12, and qualifying places for the final.

The new leaders are "[A]mazing [E]ngineers.COM" (AECOM, United Arab Emirates), who are looking to repeat the success of their UK colleagues 'Newbee' back in 2015, as they made a stunning move from 137th to take over top spot with 1,606 points, and demonstrating the gains that can be made in a round with effective decisions. They have also opened up a 50 point gap to the chasing pack, now led by "McBobby" (Jacobs, UK), with two other Jacobs' teams, "Full Team Ahead" (Jacobs, Ireland) and and "Four Engineers Walk Into a Bar" (Jacobs, UK) not far behind in a cracking round for the Jacobs' teams with 5 teams now in the top 12. "Arcadis Choo-choos" (Arcadis, UK) consolidated their position as they moved up one place, and they were the only team to stay in the top 12.

During the previous period 6% of the teams slipped below the starting point of 1,000 KPI points, but there is an old saying that "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", and many of the 6% did as they showed great resolve to turn the fortunes of their businesses round, and at the end period 6 less than 2% of the teams now find themselves below the opening position.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance, 38% growth, came jointly from the "Salamanders" (Arcadis, UK), which propelled them from 196th to 91st, and the "Green Wolfs" (Parsons, Qatar). In terms of positional gain the plaudits went to another Arcadis team, "Look at me now Mum" (Arcadis, UK), who made an incredible 159 place gain to just outside the top 20. The Arcadians will do well to repeat this double feat in period 7; watch this space!

  • Hatch are taking part for the fourth time, and as a group always tend to perform well, and this year is no exception as the majority of their 6 teams from locations round the globe have made impressive starts. Their leading team are currently "Hatcha la vista" (Hatch, Canada) in 10th, with "Hatching a Plan" (Hatch, Australia) not far behind.

  • And what of the reigning champions, Parsons, who have another large contingent again taking part. The teams have a lot to live up to if they are going to repeat the success of 'Capitol Based' last year, but it looks like they will make a good fist of it again with 2 teams already in the top 12, both from across the Atlantic, led by "The Sapphire Permanent Assurance" (Parsons, United States), with "Jersey Geoengineers" (Parsons, United States) only 17 points further back.

  • And what words of wisdom have come from the Enginuity Crystal Ball this week ? It correctly highlighted "Hatcha la vista" (Hatch, Canada) last round, and has now picked out another potential dark horse in the "Network Miners" (Network Rail, UK), who started well in period 5, and are still well on track for a place in the final after climbing 26 places, and up to 15th.

With KPI points hard earned it will become increasingly important that the management teams look very carefully at every aspect of their business for potential improvements, and those that are most successful in doing so should prosper the most. Two areas that the teams need particular attention are Marketing strategy and Procurement (rival bidders), which are discussed in more detail below.

Marketing is possibly the area of the business that requires the most thought, as there are numerous strategies that could be adopted. The market trend can only be gauged for one year ahead, and not always accurately, and as marketing departments are expanded, the choices of where to direct the marketing effort are wide ranging, by sector, country and job size. The task is not an easy one, but has a major impact upon procurement options, and the future work undertaken, and ultimately on the long term prosperity of the company.

Another important consideration is that rival bidders do not necessarily stick with the same bidding strategy, and as time goes by they can change their strategy according to market conditions. This makes it imperative that teams keep a close eye on the margins rival bidders are applying, and how they may be changing. Evaluating these strategies could make the key difference between success in securing work, or not. To complicate matters even further there may be UNKNOWN rival bidders, and the only clues to these may be in the ENGINUITY NEWS NETWORK (ENN) for the period.

Individual League Table at the end of period 6
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 6

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 7:  "The Empire Strikes back!"

In the 'real world' that Enginuity tries to simulate there is a lot of uncertainty in the global economy, and it becoming clear in the Competition that the only predictable thing is that everything is unpredictable, as the top of the leaderboard was turned upside down again in period 7.
As previous leaders "[A]mazing [E]ngineers.COM" (AECOM, United Arab Emirates) slipped back to 7th, the only team to hold their position in the top five was "Full Team Ahead" (Jacobs, Ireland), who climbed one place to second, but are dark forces at work as "J-EMPIRE II" (Jacobs, UK) made an incredible warp-speed surge from 99th to become the third different leaders with 1,605 pts after 18% growth.
However, even the positional gain of the new leaders was outdone by "BuroHappold London" (BuroHappold Engineering, UK) with a staggering 120 place gain as they moved up to 11th, and "DfMAzing" (Laing O Rourke, Australia) also matched the leader's change from 10th to 10th. It was a good quarter for other Oceania teams as WSP teams from New Zealand moved into leading positions, with "Ministry of Wopus" (WSP NZ, New Zealand) in 3rd and "Not Manukau" (WSP NZ, New Zealand) in 4th only 1 point apart.
Incredibly only 44 points separate the top 12, and many other teams lie just outside the qualifying places for the final in what is becoming one of the most competitive Enginuity Competitions of recent years.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance, 23% growth, came from the aptly named "Very Good Building Company (VGBC)" (Stantec, United States), and in terms of positional gain the plaudits went to "Enginious Crackers" (Jacobs, UK) who made an incredible 127 place gain from 145th to 18th.

  • Mott Macdonald have never been the Enginuity Champions, but hopes are high again this year with several teams taking part, and all have made promising progress in the early stages of the Competition, with their Glasgow based team "MM Glasgow" (Mott Macdonald, UK) leading the way after 15% growth saw them move up to 21st.

  • New to the competition this year are Knight Piésold, and their sole representative in the competition, "The GOATs" (Knight Piésold, South Africa) are doing their sponsor proud after making impressive progress up the table, from 105th to 37th to 29th, and they may yet prove to be the 'Greatest Of All Time'.

  • How accurate is the Enginuity Crystal Ball ? It has had its doubters, but currently its predictions cannot be underestimated. Back in period 5, "Omniginuity" (Balfour Beatty, UK) were highlighted as one to watch, and after the team from Canary Wharf slipped back in period 6 it looked like the Crystal Ball was fading, but a 14% improvement in period 7 has seen the newcomers move up 75 places to 6th, and their small but clearly impressive management team may be beginning to look to the top of the table. Watch this space!

IEWP = SUCCESS

A leading industry think tank have come up with a simple formula for running a successful construction business.

  1. IDENTIFY new work
  2. EXPAND the infrastructure (capital base) of the company to take on more work
  3. WIN new work through competitive bidding
  4. PROFITABLY PROGRESS of the jobs won
It sounds so simple in theory, but in practice it is much far harder to achieve. Most teams prove to be more than competent in the first two areas, identify new work and expanding the infrastructure, but the bidding and successful job progression proves more challenging. Winning new work is not easy with so many known and unknown rival bidders working in different sectors and locations, and progressing jobs through to successful completion is hindered many things, such as finding suitable project managers, labour scheduling and overcoming the many obstacles that can occur, such as delays caused by risks strking. Steady growth also requires replacing work progressed with at least the same amount of work again, and this is often the hardest factor of all to get right. The teams can take some comfort from knowing that many management teams in the real world also struggle for consistent growth, and at least in the virtual world it is not critical, although it may feel like it at times!

Another essential part of running a successful business is being able to form an effective Risk Management Strategy to keep the business as profitable as possible. This can take a number of forms, firstly by building sensible risk contingencies into the original bids based upon the likelihood and cost of the risks occurring. Secondly, and just as importantly is mitigating the affects of any risks that strike through targeted investment into risk management companies, using a BIM model if available, and employing the most suitable project managers to jobs in progress. However, even when these mitigating actions are taken, risk can still be costly to job and company profits, and during period 7 site access issues, classed as low risk, affected the early stages of the geothermal plant modifications near Greymouth in New Zealand for the client, South Island Energy, with an estimated risk cost of around 150k before mitigation.

Individual League Table at the end of period 7
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 7

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 8:  "Whakatau to 'Not Manukau' as they fly the WSP flag at the top"

As the teams reached the halfway point in the Preliminary Rounds, it is appropriate to reflect on how success can be measured. Teams at the top of the table, and battling for a place in the 12-team final at the end of the Preliminary Rounds will consider their position in the table a measure of how well they are running their business. Teams at the wrong end of the table will now look to success being able to turn round the fortunes of their companies, and this can only be achieved by focusing on the key areas that could improve their growth rates i.e., competitive bidding to secure new work, and managing their jobs in progress as profitably as possible, and close analysis of past performance will be important to prevent past mistakes from reocurring.

Period 8 proved to be a tough quarter for a number of teams, with 30% posting deteriorating results, and just like the real world that the Enginuity Competition tries to simulate, some teams are beginning to realise that it is hard to grow a profitable business. A number of factors hindered the performance of many, notably aggressive bidding from a number of simulated rival bidders, the Chota Nagpur Group and Sharami International in particular, and the growing pains of additional labour costs incurred from having to source jobs won in the previous quarter by either expanding the company's own workforce, or using subcontractors.

And so to the action in period 8, and for the first time there was a measure of stability in the leading positions, with just four new entries into the top 12. However, one of them was particularly significant as "Not Manukau" (WSP NZ, New Zealand) climbed 3 places to become the 4th different leaders with 1,777 pts, and the team whose name translates to "wading birds" in Maori will be hoping to keep their heads above the chasing pack.
The previous leaders from period 6 "[A]mazing [E]ngineers.COM" (AECOM, United Arab Emirates) moved back up to second, with two Jacobs teams from India close behind, with "Margam" (Jacobs, India) in 3rd, and "Flying Doraemon with Extra wings" (Jacobs, India) soaring 13 places to 4th. The biggest climber into the leading positions was the aptly named "Stantastic" (Stantec, Australia), up 28 places to 7th. There is still less than 100 points between the top 12, and with so many teams in the chasing pack, it is a safe bet that there will be lots more twists and turns in the second half of the Preliminary Rounds. and before this year's finalists are confirmed. Watch this space!

Running a successful construction business requires effective internal decisions to be made, such as bidding competitively to win new work, and progressing jobs as profitably as possible. However, external economic, political and environmental WORLD EVENTS can also impact upon the business. Clues to some of the events, but not necessarly all of them, are reported in the ENGINUITY NEWS NETWORK (ENN) each period, and close examination of this valuable new source may influence the current and future strategy of the business.
For example, in period 8 an article in the ENN reported that "With so much labour being used for the Qatar 2022 World Cup building programme, particularly in constructing new stadiums, construction companies operating in Qatar, and neighbouring countries, fear a shortage of workers in the next 6 months, and are looking at sourcing the shortfall from elsewhere." Clearly construction companies undertaking work in Qatar may see their build costs driven up due to having to pay additional labour costs in the near future.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance came from "Wide Spread Panic" (WSP, UK), whose 26% clearly belied their team name as they climbed 60 places, and in terms of positional gain the plaudits went to "COW IN A field" (Cowi, Canada) who made an incredible 103 place gain from 149th to 46th.

  • The Robert Bird Group have had a number of finalists in the past, and this year their hopes seem to be pinned on the "RBGiants" (Robert Bird Group, Australia), who made a giant stride in period 8, as a 19% improvement propelled them from 84th to 19th, and into the top twenty, and they will be hoping to soar even higher.

  • The Enginuity competition is a stern test of resolve, and the ability to recover from setbacks; a real test of character. There are many examples each week of teams who demonstrate this, and in period 8 one in particular stands out. "AECOMplete Reaction" (AECOM, UK) grew by an impressive 16% that moved them 28 places, and away from the wrong end of the table, and the handful of teams who are currently below their starting position back in period 5 will be hoping for a similar reaction in the next round.

  • Who will the Enginuity Crystal Ball shine a light on this week ? Well surprisingly the Oracle has picked out "BuroHappold London" (BuroHappold Engineering, UK), surprising because they slipped 4 places this week, but they are still well positioned in 15th, and the resident Enginuity Historian as gone through the archives, and pointed out that the Londoners look odds on to finish higher than any other Buro Happold team in the past, with a 39th place finish in 2018 the best to date. No pressure then!

Individual League Table at the end of period 8
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 8

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 9:  "Delight in the Indian Sub Continent as marvellous 'Margam' hit top spot"

As the teams entered the second half of the Preliminary Rounds, 84% encouragingly recorded positive growth during period 9, and once more there was lots of movement in the league table, including new leaders for the 5th successive round as "Margam" (Jacobs, India) maintained their impressive climb up the table as they moved up two places again to take over top spot with 1,989 pts. Close behind are those "Jersey Geoengineers" (Parsons, United States), with the bulk of the team that finished runners up last year, and "Stantastic" (Stantec, Australia) continued their impressive ascent as they moved up 4 places to 3rd.
Unsually at this stage there is only one team from the UK in the top 12, "J-EMPIRE II" (Jacobs, UK), and there were 6 new entries, most notably from the "The Sapphire Permanent Assurance" (Parsons, United States), with 24% growth that propelled them from 73rd to 10th, with "Stantec Together" (Stantec, Canada) also enjoying a highly productive quarter as they moved up 55 places to 6th, with six teams from the North American region in the qualifying places for the final. However, there is still 3 more rounds to go before the identity of the 2020 finalists are revealed, and many teams lie within touching distance of a place in the final, and more twists and turns are sure to lie ahead.

As many teams look to trying to secure a place in the Final, it is worth looking back at the last year's Competition, and what level of KPI growth was needed to qualify for the Final. In 2019 at the end of period 12 a score of 2,045 pts was enough to secure a place in the Final. In average terms this is equivalent to growing by an average of 131 additional KPI points each period. Currently the team occupying the last qualification place for the Final, "Building Suspense" (WSP US, United States) have averaged 165 additional points each period, consistent with previous years at this stage, and it is something to bear in mind for the teams hoping to break into the top 12 by the end of the Preliminary Rounds.

Diversifying through Targeted investments can produce benefits to jobs being progressed through reductions in both build costs and risk costs and delays, which can make a real difference to job and company profitability. However, occasionally this can be a risky strategy when the company being invested in is in danger of going bust, and those investing in National Aggregate Plc were warned in period 7 about 'the company issuing profit warnings' and then in period 8 of the 'threat of administration next period', and in period 9 National Aggregate Plc did indeed go bust, and only 36% of the investment was recovered for those that had continued to invest in the company.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance, with 31% growth, came jointly from "MLMS" (Jacobs, Australia) and "Ramboll On" (Ramboll, UK), and enabled both teams to make significant moves up the table, 40 and 35 places respectively. In terms of positional gain the plaudits went to "Enjaz" (Parsons, United Arab Emirates) who made a substantial 79 place gain from 125th to 46th.

  • Back in period 6 the Enginuity Crystal Ball highlighted the "Network Miners" (Network Rail, UK) as ones to watch, but periods 7 and 8 saw their growth stutter, but an 18% improvement in period 9 signalled to their rivals that the Miners are right back on track after a 38 place gain put them only 4 points off the top 12 in 13th, and firmly back in contention for a place in the final.

  • Within the main competition there are many internal sponsor battles, and one that stands out in particular is playing out at MWH Treatment, as less than 100 points separate their 4 teams. All are running successful growing businesses, a key objective of taking part in the Competition, and the clearly inappropriately named "Average at best" (MWH Treatment, UK) currently hold the bragging rights.

  • In preparation for the later stages of the Preliminary Rounds the Enginuity Crystal Ball was given a longer than normal polish this week, and the Glass Guro has to some extent played it safe this week by picking out one of the leading teams, "Full Team Ahead" (Jacobs, Ireland), in 4th as potential Champions, although I am not sure their renowned and experienced team leader will count this as a blessing; no pressure Pat!

Individual League Table at the end of period 9
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 9

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 10:  "All change again at the top as the 'Geoengineers' take control"

At this stage of the Competition you can always expert a level of stability in the league table, with less movement in and out of the top 12, and so it proved in period 10, the three-quarter point in the Preliminary Rounds, with just 4 new entrants into the qualifying places for the final, but all made significant gains, particularly "Business as Usual" (Hatch, South Africa), who moved up to 12th after a 19-place gain, which will also give encouragement to a large group of teams who will still feel they can secure one of the coveted places in the final with a strong finish in the remaining two Preliminary Rounds.
At the top of the table previous leaders "Margam" (Jacobs, India) slipped back after a slight decline in the quarter, and it opened the door for last year's runners up, the "Jersey Geoengineers" (Parsons, United States), to move ominously up one place and into pole position with 2,066 pts, opening up a small lead over "Stantastic" (Stantec, Australia), who also climbed one place to 2nd. And "J-EMPIRE II" (Jacobs, UK) may have quelled the rebellion as as they put the UK back in the leading positions after gaining 6 places from 9th to 3rd, with the gap between the leading 12 teams narrowing considerably to just over a 100 points.

A recent report in a leading international construction journal posed the question "What makes a successful construction business ?". The author's answer, backed up by some leading industry experts, was that the essential ingredients are an effective marketing strategy, competitive tendering and successful completion of contracts, but there are many other factors that can make the crucial difference between being a 'successful', and an 'outstandingly successful' business. These included targeted investments, employing the most suitable staff and effective overhead management. Also, increasingly important is the role that an effective risk management policy can play. Take the 11m redevelopment of the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium for the Doha Development Group in Al Rayyan, Qatar. Structural defects had been identified as a medium possibility, but during period 10, the 2nd quarter of the job, they caused problems for the contractor, at a reported cost of around 135k. However, it could have been far worse if the chosen contractor had not employed one of the most highly respected project managers in the Building & Commercial field, along with an investment stake in a risk management company, and made use of the BIM model used at the design stage, all of which helped to mitigate the affect of the structural defects, and reduce the final bill.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance came from the aptly named "Stantastic Six" (Stantec, United States), who climbed 34 places after impressive 25% growth. In terms of positional gain the plaudits went north of the border to "MM Glasgow" (Mott Macdonald, UK), who made a huge 85 place gain from 129th to 44th.

  • Previously we highlighted the internal battle taking place at MWH Treatment, and this week Buro Happold are back in the spotlight. It was back in 2018 that a 39th place finish was Buro's best ever finish, but that will surely be surpassed this year with all three teams running profitable growing businesses, and both "BuroHappold London" (BuroHappold Engineering, UK) and "Irn-Buro" (BuroHappold Engineering, UK) are well placed in the high echelons of the leadboard, in 20th and 36th respectively.

  • After being polished last week, this week there was an extra glow of satisfaction on the Enginuity Crystal Ball as one of its predictions as dark horses is beginning to look increasingly likely as the 2-man team from Balfour Beatty, "Omniginuity" (Balfour Beatty, UK), moved back into the top 12, and up 8 places on 9th, although the Canary Wharf high flyers will be well aware that there is still more work to be done to secure a place in this year's final.

  • There are many teams flying the flag solely for their sponsor. We have already highglighted "Omniginuity" (Balfour Beatty, UK) and the "Network Miners" (Network Rail, UK), but special mention also needs to be made of the performance of Auckland-based "The Edge of Tomorrow" (Tonkin & Taylor, New Zealand), who have made steady progress up the table to 27th, and possible they are now on the 'Edge' of something even greater. Watch this space!

Individual League Table at the end of period 10
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 10

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 11:  "Geo-Stationary Orbit for many of the leaders as the final looms large"

The penultimate round of the Preliminary Rounds encouragingly saw 81% of the teams post positive growth figures in period 12, and as the final comes into sight a number of teams cemented their position in the top 12, with 9 remaining in the qualifying places for the final, but there are still many teams in contention who will be looking for a strong finish to break into the elite 12 in the final Preliminary Round. At the very top of the table for the first time there was some stability as last year's runners up the "Jersey Geoengineers" (Parsons, United States) held onto top spot with 2,186 pts, but their lead was slashed to just 7 points by "Margam" (Jacobs, India) who moved up 8 places to 2nd after 11% growth, with "Stantastic" (Stantec, Australia) dropping back one place to 3rd.
There is still only 100 points separating the leading 12 teams, with three teams breaking into the qualifying places for the final, led by "Shear Incompetence" (Arcadis, Australia) after a 22 place gain, "Flying Doraemon with Extra wings" (Jacobs, India) (up 15 places) and "Parsons Pentagon View" (Parsons, United States) (up 21 places). The team in 12th are averaging 154 points per round, and there are so many teams from 13th onwards who could yet secure one of the 12 places on offer in the final in the last Preliminary Round, and one good or bad decision could make the difference. There could be a lot of burning of the midnight oil in a tense week ahead!

The teams that qualify for a place in the Final will carry on with their businesses as they are at the end of the Preliminary Rounds, or early years. However, the final, or later years will present a number of new challenges. In particular, each of the 'human' teams will be in direct competition for work against each other, with just one additional simulated rival. This adds more uncertainty to the bidding process, and added to this contract awards are not just based upon price, but upon client relationships, so relationships built up over the early years take on added significance in the later years, and marketing strategies assume added significance as niche markets become very attractive. Only the team able to cope the best under the increased pressure, and with the most effective and robust strategy for competing in this challenging global environment, would eventually emerge as the 2020 Champions.

And so to the latest ENGINUITY TWITTER FEEDS :-

  • Who were the star performers in terms of overall improvement and positional gain this week ?
    The best performance came from the "Strategy Prodigies" (Stantec, Canada), whose impressive 22% growth gave their shareholders hope that company is now on an upward curve. In terms of positional gain the plaudits went to California based "Careless WSPer" (WSP US, United States), who made a significant 63 place gain from 88th to 26th, and into contention for a place in the final.

  • One really encouraging aspect this year is how many of the teams are heeding the words of the title of the 1985 Billy Ocean classic, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going", with now the least number of teams below their starting position of 1,000 points at this stage than for a number of years. And one teams who demonstrated this quality in particular this week were the "Stantec 6" (Stantec, UK) with 19% growth that staved off the threat of their management team being called to an emergency board meeting to explain the company's plight!

  • In the final round of the Competition there is always surprises, and one or two teams make a late move into the top 12, and a place in the final. This year the Enginuity Crystal Ball has been busy looking at who that might be, but rather than put pressure on a team by naming them, the revered fortune teller has predicted that the likely dark horse will come from a team from 40th upwards, and will require around 10-12% growth. Watch his space!

  • Of the new companies involved this year there have been some outstanding performances, particularly from "The O.G. McNab" (McNab, Austalia), currently in 40th, as the McNab teams had less time to trial than many of the other teams, and their experience this year could be a big asset in future competitions.

Individual League Table at the end of period 11
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 11

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP




PERIOD 12:  "Drama right to the end of the Preliminary Rounds as the finalists are confirmed"

There is an old saying that 'timing is everything', and so it proved in the final Preliminary Round as 4 teams moved into the top 12 to the dismay of those they replaced in a dramatic conclusion to the first stage of this year's Competition. The most significant in terms of places gained came from "Building Suspense" (WSP US, United States) who shot up 13 places from 24th after 10% growth to squeeze into the final in 11th place, and just below them "Business as Usual" (Hatch, South Africa) became the first African team to qualify for the final after a 6-place gain saw them pip the leaders from period 8, "Not Manukau" (WSP NZ, New Zealand) by just 1 solitary point. The other two teams to break into the top 12 were "Mangineer" (Parsons, Qatar) and "Sac the Competition" (WSP US, United States), but amongst the joy there was bound to be anguish, and spare a thought for "Full Team Ahead" (Jacobs, Ireland), who lost out on a crucial bid for a large job with Orlando Adventure World to Denver Developments by just a few pounds that cost them dearly; so close and yet so far.

Going into the final in pole position, and taking over the top spot once more are marvellous "Margam" (Jacobs, India) on 2,322 pts, who hold a small lead over the chasing pack, led by "Stantastic" (Stantec, Australia), and previous leaders and last year's runners up those "Jersey Geoengineers" (Parsons, United States) are still well placed.

There is just 139 points separating the 12 finalists, and in a truly international field there is 1 team from the UK, 4 from the United States, 1 from Canada, 2 from India, 1 from Qatar, 1 from South Africa, 1 from Australia, and 1 from New Zealand. As in previous years there is very little between the teams going into the final, and even the Enginuity Crystal Ball, so active again this year, is not prepared to try and predict who will ultimately triumph and lift the Enginuity 2020 crown, with 6 tense and competitive rounds ahead spread over 3 weeks, in which KPI points can quickly be eroded away as the increased pressure of the final puts endurance, team dynamics and company strategies to the ultimate test.

The 12 teams that have qualified for the final, and the order in which they will start the final are :-

1.    2,332 pts    "Margan"    (Jacobs, India)
Marvellous Margan will be looking for the double this year, in becoming the first team from both Jacobs and India to lift the Enginuity Crown;no pressure then!

2.    2,295 pts    "Stantastic"    (Stantec, Australia)
The team from Down Under with the name built for success are flying the flag for both Australia and their sponsor in the final, and if there was an award for consistency they would surely win it having been 2,3,2 and 3 in the last four rounds, but do they have what it takes to go a step further ?

3.    2,262 pts    "J-EMPIRE II"    (Jacobs, UK)
Amazingly the Empire builders are the only team from the UK in the final this year, and they will be hoping that the force is with them, and no rebellion upsets their plans for Enginuity domination.

4.    2,255 pts    "Mangineer"    (Parsons, Qatar)
The Doha-based team are packed with experience, and could yet be this year's dark horses, but there is still a lot of work ahead of them, but they have got this far, and will not be daunted by the task ahead.

5.    2,241 pts    "Hatcha la vista"    (Hatch, Canada)
Once more the Hatch teams as a group excelled in the Preliminary Rounds, and it is only fitting that they are represented in the final, this time with two teams, and the 'Hatcha la vista' team will be looking to terminate their rivals on the road to success.

6.    2,240 pts    "Flying Doraemon with Extra wings"    (Jacobs, India)
The 'Doraemon' will be looking to soar above their rivals in the 6-round final ahead, but the other teams will be looing to knock them off their perch, and they may well need that extra wing power.

7.    2,238 pts    "Jersey Geoengineers"    (Parsons Corporation, United States)
After finishing 2nd and 3rd in the previous two years, this vastly experienced team will believe that this is finally their time, but they will certainly not underestimate the task that lies ahead in their quest to become the 2020 Champions.

8.    2,234 pts    "Parsons Pentagon View"    (Parsons Corporation, United States)
In defence of their title Parsons have 3 teams in the final, and it would be a brave person to bet against the team with the military power at their backs, and PPV are sure to be in the final shake up.

9.    2,216 pts    "Sac the Competition"    (WSP US, United States)
Going into the final the team from Sacramento are one of three teams from WSP looking to bring the glory days of past successes back for their sponsor, and they will be hoping that they can make their team name a reality, and that is is not themselves given their P45!

10.    2,204 pts    "Ministry of Wopus"    (WSP NZ, New Zealand)
The only team from New Zealand in the Final, the Wellington based North-Islanders will be hoping to put clear water between themselves and their rivals, but they know it will be a stern test of their resolve if they are to emerge victorious.

11.    2,194 pts    "Building Suspense"    (WSP US, United States)
The team from New York, who made the biggest place gain to secure a place in the final, will be looking to continue their climb up the ladder to success, and rise above their rivals by the end of period 18. Lets hope that what goes up does not come crashing down!

12.    2,193 pts    "Business as Usual"    (Hatch, South Africa)
The first team to qualify for the final from Africa, a lot of eyes will be following their progress closely in the final, and if their attitude continues to reflect their team name, they could well hatch a successful plan to upset their rivals. Watch this space!

And what of the teams that did not make the final ? Encouragingly, 97% of the teams that began the journey back in period 5 completed the early years with stronger, more sustainable companies than they started, a testimony to the skill and application shown throughout by the management teams.

There have been so many internal sponsor competitions within the main event that have caught the imagination over the last 8 weeks, and it is only fitting that in the final ENGINUITY TWITTER FEED we pay homage to the victors in their own mini battles. So here is the ENGINUITY 2020 Sponsor Podium at the end of the Preliminary Rounds :-

AECOM    "[A]mazing [E]ngineers.COM"    United Arab Emirates
ARCADIS    "Shear Incompetence"    Australia
ATKINS    "Atwins"    UK
BUROHAPPOLD ENGINEERING    "BuroHappold London"    UK
HATCH    "Hatcha la vista"    Canada
JACOBS    "Margam"    India
MCNAB    "The O.G. McNab"    Australia
MOTT MACDONALD    "MM Glasgow"    UK
MWH TREATMENT    "MWHT Cardinals"    UK
PARSONS    "Mangineer"    Qatar
RAMBOLL    "Ramboll and the Smooth Humans"    UK
ROBERT BIRD GROUP    "RBGiants"    Australia
STANTEC    "Stantastic"    Australia
WSP    "Sac the Competition"    United States

In the end there can only be one Champion ... tune in from May 27 to June 10 to find out who!

Individual League Table at the end of period 12
Improvements, or otherwise, during period 12

Sponsor league tables (3 or more teams):-
Aecom
Arcadis
Atkins
Buro Happold
Hatch
Jacobs
McNab
Mott MacDonald
MWH Treatment
Parsons Corporation
Ramboll
Robert Bird Group
Stantec
WSP